Motivational Pathways to Leisure-Time Physical Activity Participation in Urban Physical Education: A Cluster-Randomized Trial

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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Purpose: Grounded in the trans-contextual model of motivation framework, this cluster-randomized trial examined the effectiveness of an autonomy supportive physical education (PE) instruction on student motivation and physical activity (PA). Method: The study comprised six middle schools and 408 students (Mage = 12.29), with primary outcomes of students’ autonomous motivation in PE and exercise, PA intention, and self-report PA. Results: The path analysis showed that the intervention had a weak positive effect (γ = .11) on students’ perception of autonomy (R2 = .51), which in turn had a moderate positive effect (β = .29) on autonomous motivation in PE (R2 = .51). Students’ perception of autonomy during PE had a positive effect (β = .63) on their autonomous exercise motivation (R2 = .44) and autonomous exercise motivation had a positive effect (β = .37) on PA intentions (R2 = .34). Autonomous exercise motivation was an indirect link transferring PE autonomy to PA intentions and participation. Conclusion: The study provides evidence on how motivational experiences in PE transfer to out-of-school PA.

Yli-Piipari is with the Department of Kinesiology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA. Layne and Irwin are with the School of Health Studies, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN. Hinson is with the Division of Allied Health, Seattle Central Health Education Center, Seattle Central College, Seattle, WA.

Address author correspondence to Sami Yli-Piipari at syp@uga.edu.
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